FSU Receives $100 million Donation

| December 18, 2015


TALLAHASSEE — The family of the late automobile dealer and philanthropist Jim Moran on Friday announced a $100 million donation to Florida State University, a gift believed to be the largest single gift ever to a Florida public university.

The money will be used to establish in downtown Tallahassee the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, an expansion of an institute on the main campus named for Moran.

Moran, who died in 2007, had a long history of giving to FSU beginning in 1995, when he gave the school $1.8 million to create the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. He also provided money for scholarships to help African-American students attend FSU. In all, the Moran family has committed more than $109 million to the school.

Moran never attended college.

The Moran family was based in South Florida but has made donations across the state, including in Jacksonville. The largest concert hall at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts bears the Moran name in recognition of the family’s support of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Moran’s widow, Jan, joined FSU President John Thrasher on Friday to make the announcement during a jubilant Board of Trustees meeting. In a statement released afterward by the university, Jan Moran said, “Jim believed ‘The future belongs to those who prepare for it,’ With this gift, we forever secure the legacy of Jim Moran and his passion for supporting entrepreneurism so that current and future generations will have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.”

FSU officials said the $100 million donation from Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation ties the record set by a $100 million gift in 2004 to the University of Miami, a private institution, by the family of trustee and supporter Leonard M. Miller. It surpasses the $75 million pledged by Al and Judy Warrington to the University of Florida announced two years ago.

Thrasher, who called the gift “transformational,” said FSU is in the process of finalizing a contract for space downtown, and the location of the Moran School of Entrepreneurship will be announced later.

In growing its downtown presence, FSU follows the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, both of which have established downtown campuses in recent years.

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